Healthy Cove

USANA COPAPRIME+™: TWO DOCTORS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

Copa Prime

There’s a science to writing quiz show questions.

A good question should bring one of three reactions: “I knew that,” “darn it—I should have known that,” or “I didn’t know that, but I’m glad I do now.” From Trivial Pursuit to watching Jeopardy, I can’t count the times I’ve blurted out the wrong answer only to mutter, “Jeez, I knew that.”

It’s incredible what I’ve learned (and forgotten) through the years. From state capitals to Shakespeare sonnets to how cellular osmosis works, I’ve collected a lifetime of education from countless sources. Mr. Vordahl taught math, Mrs. Quinn showcased world history, and Mrs. Anderson unlocked chemistry. These three teachers and hundreds of others built my educational foundation.

All of learning is experienced based. It starts from mimicking your parents as an infant. As you get older, you go to school and learn from teachers and classmates. You absorb everything you read, watch on TV, and experience in the world. Your five senses record your environment, helping you think, reason, remember, and learn new things.

It’s important to keep your brain healthy. Without it, you’d be in trouble. And that’s where USANA CopaPrime+™ comes in. Your brain controls your thoughts, memory, and speech. It’s in charge of the movement of our arms and legs and the function of the organs within our body. Weighing around three pounds, the brain is an apex consumer of your body’s blood and oxygen, taking in 20 percent. There’s almost 100,000 miles of blood vessels in your brain with over 100 billion neurons.

Your brain needs glucose, vitamins, and minerals to function at its highest level. Brain cells can’t store energy; therefore, they need a constant stream of complex carbohydrates. And your brain needs water. Even with a two percent decline in water (dehydration), you can experience pain, memory loss, and cellular damage. Eating a diet rich in oily fish containing omega-3, berries, nuts, avocados, and beans provide the macro nutrition your brain needs.

It’s a smart idea to support your brain with a steady source of antioxidants. Free radicals—unattached oxygen molecules—can damage cells. Every cell in your body is affected by free radicals or oxidative damage, but your brain cells are particularly vulnerable.*

See oxidative damage in action by simply slicing an apple. Over time, the apple will turn brown from the oxygen in the air. Rub a little lemon juice on each slice, and you slow down the spoiling. Similarly, taking antioxidants helps promote the healthy cellular aging process.

Taking antioxidants helps promote the healthy cellular aging process.

USANA® CopaPrime+™ helps your mind focus, learn, and recall memories with a boost of nutrition for your brain. How do I know this? Because USANA’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Rob Sinnott told me. He’ll also talk about this revolutionary brain support supplement on The Dr. Oz Show on Friday, February 28, 2020.*

Use this Jeopardy-style crash course on USANA® CopaPrime+™ to prep you for Dr. Sinnott’s discussion with Dr. Oz.

via GIPHY

Q. A supplement used to optimize cognitive function.

Q. This ancient root assists with mood-support.

Q. A perennial, creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern India, often called hyssop, herb of grace, and Indian pennywort.

Q. The fleshy fruit surrounding this seed is packed with antioxidants.

Q. Optimal brain health.

  1. What is taking CopaPrime+?

Adding CopaPrime+ to your daily routine helps support your cognitive function to focus on the task at hand. It’s not a miracle drug, but rather a supplement that optimizes your mental strength. Your brain powers everything in your life, and CopaPrime+ supports healthy short-term and long-term cognitive functions.*

Short-Term Benefits

  • Supports performance-driven activities like focus, short-term memory, and resilience to stressors.*
  • Strengthens and helps maintain mood.*
  • Promotes healthy brain structure and function during the aging process, including support memory and mental clarity.*

Long-Term Benefits

Promotes healthy brain structure and function during the aging process, including support memory and mental clarity.*

Shop USANA CopaPrime+ https://www.usana.com/s/f1-Cr2

ECLS Energy

6 Essential Oils for Beginners to Raise Your Vibrations

Did you know that you can use essential oils to raise your vibration? That, in turn, can help you in your ability to manifest.
Essential oils are amazing natural oils distilled from different parts of flowers, plants or herbs including the leaves and roots. They are very powerful due to their concentration of phytochemicals.
The oils themselves carry high vibration and can be used to naturally and holistically heal the body, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. They smell delicious and contain unique therapeutic properties.
Essential oils have been an important part of history, medicine, and religion for centuries.
 

Past Oilers

As far back as 3500 BC, the Egyptians and Mesopotamians were distilling oils. When Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in 1922, many jars were found by the archeologists that had been used to hold oils.
Chinese aromatherapists believed that by extracting the fragrance from a plant you were freeing its soul.
Hippocrates used aromatherapy from several essential oils to fumigate the city of Athens in Ancient Greece and ward off the plague.
Like many of the world’s natural secrets and remedies, there was a period of time where that information was withheld from the larger population in the Dark Ages when using plants as medicine could get you labelled as a witch.
Modern society had lost some of that wisdom and ability to use plants as natural solutions to many illnesses and emotional issues. Thankfully they have gained popularity in recent years and fortunately, those secrets and remedies were not lost forever.
 

Essential Oils Today

Today many scientists, physicians. and researchers are rediscovering the wonderful healing benefits of essential oils.
Essential oils are much better for the environment than perfume oils as they are non-toxic.
If you enjoy using candles 🕯, choosing a candle that has been infused with essential oils is best, or you can even place a few drops of your favourite essential oil with water into a diffuser and use it to create a lovely fragrance in your home or workspace.
 
Essential oils Benefits: Combat depression fight bacteria strengthen your immune system speed recovery from illnessBalance hormones used in homemade cleaning and skin products diffuse in the air for natural cleansing.

The reason that the aromas and scents of essential oils are so beneficial to us is due to our own powerful nasal receptors.

When we are exposed to the smells our brain receives a signal interpreting the scent. This can change our mood and stimulate different healing physical, emotional and mental reactions.
 

Essential Oils for Beginners

If you want to get started with essential oils, here are some of the best oils to begin with and how you should use them:

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Lavender
Lavender is an extremely therapeutic oil with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties. It’s well known for its calming effect and as a natural sleep aid as well as reducing anxiety and tension.
If you’re looking for an oil to help you kick back and let go of the day, lavender is your best friend. You can put some drops into a hot bath, add a few drops to a carrier oil such as almond or jojoba oil or combine it with water as a spray. Use it on your pillow and bedding for a wonderful night’s sleep.
You can add baking soda, water and lavender and make your own antiseptic cleaner, this works wonders on a yoga mat and makes it smell amazing too!
You can also inhale lavender essential oil whenever you are feeling sad or melancholic and receive the benefits of its happiness-boosting aroma and soothing effect.

Peppermint
If your afternoon tea or coffee isn’t quite doing it for you, Peppermint oil is an energizing and invigorating oil that works to give you that much-needed “pick-me-up,” sharpening your senses and giving you an energy boost. It’s also excellent for anyone suffering from migraines and headaches, stomach issues, heartburn, indigestion, and gas.
Peppermint can reduce feelings of anger, soothe irritation, and help depression and fatigue.
To ease a headache, dip a tissue in the oil and place the end of the tissue in nostril opposite to where your headache is, or place a tissue in both nostrils if your headache is generally situated. You can also rub a few drops on your temples and sinuses.
For stomach issues, you can diffuse the oil in a carrier oil and rub over your stomach.

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Oregano
Oregano oil has qualities beyond being a tasty herb for enhancing certain dishes, it is ideal for a boost to the immune system. This oil is highly concentrated as such must be diluted in a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil.
It’s a powerful antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic oil and can keep infections away and reduce pain and swelling.
Emotionally this oil is helpful in calming any feelings of fear and promoting calm and peaceful feelings instead.

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Lemon
Lemon is a fresh smelling and energizing oil with excellent antibacterial, antihistamine, and antiviral qualities. It works wonders on itchy insect bites and when added to salves used on wounds. You could try adding it to your shampoo or moisturizer for a lovely scent and healing properties.

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Tea Tree
Tea Tree essential oil has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. You may have heard of it for use in skin products for acne relief or to reduce redness and scars.
You can add it to your skincare regime or use it to freshen up a room as it’s the particular scent is also energizing and detoxifying. Add a few drops of the oil to a water spray and use it for cleaning countertops and bathroom areas.

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Sandalwood
Sandalwood is a rare oil that often comes blended with other scents. It has a very high vibration and can be used in spiritual healing, strengthening your energy and aura and clearing away any toxic, negative energy from a space.
You can scatter a few drops on your body to ward off negativity and to boost your auric field. It can also be used in meditation and to help you connect and activate your third eye.
Incorporate any of these essential oils in your daily routine and feel your vibration rising to high frequencies.
They are a wonderful way to naturally and holistically treat physical and emotional challenges as well as making your home or workspace smelling fresh and enticing.
 

Healthy Cove

FITNESS FOR A WHOLE FAMILY

Create a New Level of Wellness

It’s a fact, children are spending an increasing number of hours indoors and in front of screens, cultivating a sedentary lifestyle. Now it’s more important than ever for each member of your family to be involved in a fitness plan. Teaching your kids healthy habits today will change their lives for the future.

Get Everyone Active

The benefit of regular exercise is undeniable. As adults, our fitness program typically works around our busy schedules. Waking early to run outside before heading to off to work, joining a CrossFit squad, or fitting in a tranquil yoga class during lunch hour. While we often create goals that align with our individual lifestyle, shifting the focus to family activities can inspire better physical health and a greater state of overall wellness—and it can even be fun!

Some benefits from regular physical activity include:

  • Improved blood circulation throughout the body
  • Helping maintain healthy weight
  • Preventing bone loss
  • Boosting energy levels
  • Releasing tension
  • Preventing and helps manage high blood pressure
  • Improving sleep
  • Supporting a healthy self-image
  • Helping to manage stress levels
  • Fighting moderate anxiety and depression
  • Increasing muscle strength

These are just a few reasons to focus on family fitness and instill a healthy attitude for an active lifestyle. Spark an early love of exercise as you inspire your family to make physical activity a normal part of their daily routine.

Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids

Find the right balance for your family by modeling healthy habits yourself. Activity levels will differ from family to family—focus on a sound middle ground. An environment of health and wellness, one that allows children to explore different activities and cultivate their own athletic interests, leads to healthy bodies, minds, and experiences. And, most importantly, builds high self-esteem.

Most kids naturally want to try things they see their parents doing. Stroke their curiosity with a fun workout, stretching, and energetic games. If they see you happy and thriving with daily exercise, they’re more likely to join in and see physical activity as a normal part of life.

Adventure in the Everyday

The habit of movement can encourage adventure. Find and explore new trails, bike paths, or create an outdoor game at the park. Infuse imagination with physical activity and encourage unknown outcomes. This teaches your kids how to take risks safely and gives them the freedom to have rich experiences under supervision. A great way to nurture their spirit of exploration is to plan day trips or vacations to national parks, mapping out memorable hikes together.

Family Fitness Vacation

Encourage Playtime

iPads, Xboxes, cell phones, and computers often give children a false sense of enjoyment. A National Survey of Children’s Health found that young people who spend seven hours or more on screens each day were twice as susceptible to depression or anxiety. Twenty percent of kids between the ages of 14 and 17 fit into this category, as many parents let hours go by without regulating game, video, and other media kids use.

Take steps to limit screen time and, instead, encourage playtime. Advocate walks, bike rides, or set up equipment in the yard. Tournaments and ongoing games give kids a healthy dose of competition and something to look forward to in the days ahead.

A Gift of Grit and Determination

As adults, we accept that responsibility and facing daily challenges is a part of life that often brings great rewards. This is a hard lesson to teach children who are not yet emotionally mature and don’t quite understand the importance of perseverance. Life isn’t always fair. Help your kids realize what they’re good at physically and work with them to develop these strengths. Fitness will show them that grit and determination can transform their talents and help them gain a healthy confidence around achievement.

Sweat Together, Stay Together

Integrating regular family fitness activities is a great way to create memories. Adventure and play will naturally bring you together, teach you how to get along with one another, and help deepen your family relationships. If you spend evenings and weekends training together, learning to swim, traversing mountains, you bet you’ll learn to trust and rely on each other, and make some memorable moments along the way. Quality time creates quality bonds.

Healthy Habits for Life

Beyond living a more well-balanced life, a family fitness routine helps children create healthy habits in all aspects of their lives. Setting goals and following through with smaller day-to-day activities establishes healthy habits for life.

Regular family fitness is just one way to create a healthy, balanced, and fun environment for your loved ones. What other ways do you enhance your family life as a team?

Coast Lifestyle

READ SMART WITH USANA® COPAPRIME+™

Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

Reading should be enjoyable.

It’s a great way to pass time on the train, during a lunch break, or right before you turn off the light at night. But sometimes a book can betray you. Instead of spinning a wonderful yarn about Frodo and his pals disposing of a ring or finding out why he’s just not that into you, a book can be dense, obtuse, and difficult to read. These “hard” books can have polyglot, polysyllabic, poly-insert-the-blank words that turn reading from a pleasure to a chore.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t challenge yourself. Great literature isn’t always easily digestible but can be very rewarding. Over the summer, I slogged my way through Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was tough. Not only were the character names challenging (Raskolnikov, Razumikhin, and Svidrigailov anyone?), the subject matter was pretty dark. But I persevered and grinded through C&P, and proudly finished it.

Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

In figuring out Dostoevsky’s message on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of crime in 19th-century Russia, it occurred to me this book would be easier to digest if I could optimize my brain health with USANA® CopaPrime+™. Formulated with USANA’s proprietary nootropic formula of American ginseng, bacopa monneiri, and coffee fruit extract, CopaPrime+ helps maintain health brain function.*

CopaPrime+ supplies powerful levels of antioxidants to help with cognition, the gathering and processing of information—two things you need if you’re going to read a 150-year-old Russian novel. Plus, CopaPrime+ helps maintain healthy brain bridges, or neural pathways, to help store and recall information. Something I could have used to tell the difference between Raskolnikov and Razumikhim 300 pages into the book.*

Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

Essentially, CopaPrime+ helps support alertness, mental clarity, and focus while supplying the antioxidants for key neuroprotective properties. Everything you need if you’re thinking of stepping up from the dime-store novels to books found on the Booker Prize list.*

This got me to thinking. If I can finish Crime and Punishment without CopaPrime+, what other “difficult” books can I read (and understand) if I took USANA’s newest Cognitive Support Complex? I looked up what experts generally consider to be the toughest books ever written, grabbed my library card, and got cracking.*

CopaPrime+ Reading List

Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

Moby-Dick, or, the Whale (1851)

By Herman Melville

“I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote.”

It’s about a boat, a whale, and an examination of obsession. Captain Ahab seeks revenge against the giant white sperm whale who bit off his leg. Narrated by Ishmael (“Call me Ishmael”), the crew of the Pequod go to the ends of the world to kill the whale. But as you discover in the last harrowing chapters, all actions have consequences.

CopaPrime+ Reading Score: 3
Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

Catch-22 (1961)

By Joseph Heller

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

An examination of the absurdity of war set on the backdrop of World War II. Antihero Captain John Yossarian faces the Catch-22, a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem, while trying to avoid flying bombing raids over Europe. Funny, sadistic, sad, and insightful, Heller’s masterpiece is riddled with nightmares for those who just want to go home.

CopaPrime+ Reading Score: 5
Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

Infinite Jest (1996)

By David Foster Wallace

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”

You better like endnotes if you’re going to tackle Wallace’s seminal work. Set in a near-dystopic world, Infinite Jest is composed of four interwoven narratives with 388 lengthy endnotes. Meta-modernist with elements of hysterical realism, the story taunts you without end and never fully resolves as Wallace examines addiction, death, and separation through the metaphysical act of playing tennis.

CopaPrime+ Reading Score: 6
Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West (1985)

By Cormac McCarthy

“Your heart’s desire is to be told some mystery. The mystery is that there is no mystery.”

A bloody examination of the eradication of Apaches in Mexico, Blood Meridian asks and answers what happens when you attempt to tame a wild country through violence. Terse and haunting, McCarthy explores the inevitable consequences of malice on those who seek destruction. Told through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy, Blood Meridian leaves you ravaged and shaking your head.

CopaPrime+ Reading Score: 7
Boost Your Reading CopaPrime

Ulysses (1922)

By James Joyce

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

Told in the course of a single day, Joyce’s masterpiece focuses on the ramifications of wandering. Set in Dublin, Stephen Dedalus, Leopold, and Molly Bloom’s intertwined stories indulge the reader with their unique perspectives of life in search of meaning. Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness style is lyrical and demanding, but the payoff for this hefty tome is intense. Prepare to travel to the Kingdom of Hypnos down into the tiny blot of unconsciousness.

CopaPrime+ Reading Score: 10

Further Reading

This is just a limited selection of books worth your time and effort. Joyce’s final novel, Finnegans Wake, is a noodle scratcher with a CopaPrime+ Reading Score of 17. And Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow needs a pallet of CopaPrime+ to get through the first chapter. Most of William Faulkner (The Sound and the FuryAs I Lay Dying) is pretty challenging, and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is both intellectually and psychologically difficult to get through.

But you don’t have to finish the second floor of the New York Public Library to experience the benefits of CopaPrime+. Packed with powerful antioxidants and nutrition to support cognitive functions, it’s the perfect supplement to keep you sharp and mentally engaged.

Shop CopaPrime http://bit.ly/2TZMFLH

There are countless benefits of reading. It helps reduce stress, expands your vocabulary, improves analytical thinking skills, increases vocabulary, and helps your writing skills. Plus, there is the satisfaction of challenging yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone.

Coast Lifestyle

How to Achieve Healthy Weight Loss that Lasts

If you’re alarmed by the number on the bathroom scale, you probably want to find a way to lose weight fast. But healthy weight loss takes place over time, not over the weekend.

Small, manageable changes to your diet and exercise will yield lasting results—even if it feels too slow. It’s important to think about weight loss as a sustainable solution, not a quick fix. This kind of thinking isn’t your fault.

The idea that you can lose a lot of weight quickly and maintain it long-term is a classic weight-loss trap. Avoid it by sidestepping the well-trod path of rigid diets that leave you feeling hungry. These diet plans produce results that may not last long. You could quickly tire of the restrictions and find yourself rebounding into old habits. And it’s more likely you gain the weight back than see lasting changes.

That’s because quick weight loss isn’t the best way to settle at a healthy weight. In other words, it simply isn’t sustainable.

Incremental changes over a longer period of time aren’t flashy or cool, but they are the best path to a healthy weight. This includes lifestyle modifications and shifts in the way you think about food, rather than just how much you eat.

Eat up these facts about how this measured approach is the right one for healthy weight loss that will last.

Why Healthy Weight Loss is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Here’s a fun fact: It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound (equal to about 0.5 kilograms) of fat. If that seems like a lot of calories, that’s because it is. The average recommended daily calorie intake for adults is 2,000 calories. So, one pound of fat represents almost as many calories as two full days of eating.

This is one reason why healthy weight loss is a gradual process. If you want to lose weight, you have to start by reducing the number of calories you consume. If you eat 500 fewer calories each day than you burn, you can expect to lose one pound over the course of a week.

You can achieve this calorie deficit with diet alone. Or you can mix in exercise to burn more calories in a day. Thirty minutes, five times a week is a great place to start. Focus on any type of exercise or activity that increases your heart rate and moves your body.

By incrementally altering your diet and exercise habits, you can safely lose one to two pounds a week. At the same time, you’re creating manageable lifestyle habits that can stick.

The Open Secret to Weight Loss: Calorie Deficit
No matter what new diets promise, the proven way to lose weight is by creating a calorie deficit. Calories are converted from food into cellular energy by your body during metabolism. They power muscle contractions, breath, brain activity, and so much more. But when you consume more calories that your body needs to operate, they are stored as fat (including visceral fat) for later use.Learn more about calories in this helpful overview.

Typical Changes in Your Weekly Weight-Loss Rate

Even a gentle, incremental start to losing weight can provide you with an encouraging beginning. That’s because it’s possible to lose more in the first few weeks of your weight loss journey.

Build on the momentum, but understand what’s going on biologically. This quick start is the result of your body ridding itself of extra water weight. But staying the course means your weekly weight-loss rate could eventually settle around a pound or two per week—the incremental, sustainable rate you want.

Be cautious of diets and exercise programs that promise faster results. And remember that it’s typical to experience a weight-loss plateau a few weeks after you start. This is your body’s natural response to a sudden drop in weight. Along with the fat loss you’re aiming for, it’s possible to lose a bit of muscle mass, too.

Since muscles are the calorie-burning machines of the body, decreasing their mass can hurt your rate of calories burned. You can minimize muscle loss by ramping up your exercise and keeping your protein intake high. That way you’ll bust through the plateau in no time.

One way to break through periods of changing weight-loss rate is to focus on why you’re doing it. People lose weight for many different reasons. But the fact is, living at a healthy weight benefits your overall well-being.

The heart is one of the first organs to see lasting benefits. Maintaining a healthy weight supports your cardiovascular function, circulation, and reduces the workload on your heart.

Sleep issues are often linked to being overweight. So, one added benefit of your healthy weight loss could be improved sleep. Healthy weight loss can also be good for your mood and help support healthy energy levels. You may find you have more strength and endurance than before, along with a boost in self-esteem that often comes with weight loss.

Designing a Sustainable Weight-Loss Diet: Quality of Calories vs. Quantity of Calories

Diet is one of two main ways to control your calorie balance sheet. So, what you eat obviously plays a key role in the success of your weight loss journey.

While the numbers vary individually and by gender, adults need between 1,600 and 3,000 calories each day to thrive. As you’ve read above, a moderate, consistent calorie deficit will be enough to trigger weight loss.

But you should think beyond simple calorie counts.

It’s important to know all foods are not created equal. Some are high or low calorie. Some foods are filling, while others are not. Look at what you’re eating to determine if the calories in your food are being put to good use.

High-calorie, low-quality foods eat up a large piece of your daily intake, but don’t fill you up. Take soda for example. A 12-ounce serving of the sugary drink represents about 150 calories. These empty calories are all liquid, without fiber or other nutrients, and leave you hungry. Eating 150 calories of filling, fibrous vegetables have a different outcome.

Cutting out empty calories will bring you closer to your weight loss goals. Aim to make high quality, whole foods—like vegetables and lean protein—the center of your diet. Poultry, lean beef, and fatty fish provide quality nutrition and ample energy without the extra calories, starches, or sugars typically found in processed foods. Green vegetables are naturally low-calorie and packed with fiber that leaves you feeling full long after you eat.

On a daily basis, that means limiting high-calorie, low-fiber foods—like sugary drinks, fruit juice, and candy. Replace the drinks with water and snack on an apple instead. Always remaining mindful of where your calories are coming from can help you take control of your diet and create lasting, healthy weight loss.

Up the Ante on ExerciseIt often takes healthy eating and exercise to create lasting weight loss. Experts recommend 150 minutes of exercise each week to achieve healthy weight loss. That can look like 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week, or three 50-minute workouts.One of the best tips for your meeting long-term weight loss goals is to find a physical activity that suits you. Exercise isn’t limited to grueling days at the gym. It can look like a walk or jog with a friend, a hike in the woods, playing a sport, or a group fitness class in your neighborhood.Don’t beat yourself up if your exercise routine is at a beginner level. Everyone starts somewhere. You will gain strength over time. Your endurance will improve. Soon you’ll find you can do more, have more fun, and feel better.

Celebrating Non-Scale Victories Helps with Long-Term Weight Loss

Over the course of your weight-loss journey, there will be hiccups that slow or halt your progress. You might indulge in too many sweet treats, catch a cold, or suffer an injury. When these obstacles pop up, don’t fret.

Trust the process. Continue to eat well. Also keep incorporating regular exercise to help break out of your slump. No matter whether your weight loss is flourishing or has plateaued, celebrate achievements other than the number on the scale.

Here are some examples of non-scale victories worthy of revelry:

  • Fitting into old clothes
  • Keeping up with your kids
  • Increasing endurance during exercise
  • Experiencing better sleep
  • Developing a new love for healthy food
  • Feeling more energized
  • Gaining self-confidence
  • Noticing an improved sense of overall health and wellbeing

These non-scale victories will make the excitement of reaching your goal weight even sweeter. You’ll feel better in your body and see all the fruits of your hard work.

Remember that a slow, steady pace is the key to long-term weight-loss success. When you focus on the whole-body benefits of weight loss, you’ll summon the willpower to keep going. If you need more motivation, think of your heart, mental health, sleep, and endurance improving each day. Reaching a healthy weight has added benefits that set you up for a happy and full life ahead.

Coast Lifestyle

Building the Case for a Strong Base of Broad-Spectrum Nutrition

It’s easy to recognize how great you feel when you eat well. When you make healthy eating a habit, this sense of wellbeing can become your new normal. That’s because you’re laying a foundation of broad-spectrum nutrition that’s essential for encouraging your body to thrive.

To maximize your health you need consistent, high-quality nourishment. Use your diet and supplements to stockpile the solid foundational nutrition your body can draw from always.

Build Health Brick by Brick

Consider the idea of foundational nutrition. Just like a home stands atop a strong foundation, your body builds its health on a base of broad-spectrum nutrition.

A healthy, complete diet is full of micro- and macronutrients—vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and it even includes water. Like bricks, these pieces of your diet fit together to support your body in all it does to keep you feeling your best. Whole foods and essential nutrition give you a firm footing and solid start toward the goal of overall wellness, and cells need water to support healthy, proper function.

These bricks in your dietary foundation need mortar to hold them together. A high-quality dietary supplement acts a lot like that glue. Supplements can provide a variety of nutrients that might not be prevalent in your real-world diet. These fill the nutrient gaps that exist when eating perfect isn’t possible. And they can help strengthen your nutritional foundation when your body needs extra support.*

How does foundational nutrition benefit your body? Basically, in every way:

  • Ensures basic dietary requirements are met
  • Builds up stores of important vitamins and minerals
  • Supports the immune system*
  • Maintains brain health and cognitive function*
  • Helps preserve heart and lung health*
  • Supports the body’s defenses from free radicals and oxidative stress*

Your body does its best when your diet provides more than the bare minimum you need to survive. A wealth of resources from a nutritious diet amplifies your health and your body’s ability to maintain that feeling of well-being—no matter what life throws at you.*


Essential Nutrition and Your Health

The word “essential” comes up a lot when talking about nutrition. Nutrients are considered “essential” when they cannot be made by your body, so they have to come from your diet. Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fatty-acids, and amino acids are all essential nutrients.

These nutrient bricks are used by your body for everything you do. You secure that foundation by laying new bricks of essential nutrition every day. Since carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals are all important, make sure you supply your body with plenty of each from your daily diet.

When your eating isn’t as healthy as it should be, you start to miss out on the nutrients that keep you in tip-top shape. So, secure your nutritional foundation with a wide variety of healthy foods and help reinforce it with supplementation.


Weather Life’s Storms with Foundational Nutrition

Broad-spectrum nutrition is necessary to maintain your health during physically trying times. Busy lives bring a host of issues that can send your body into survival mode. Stress, poor sleep, and fatigue are just a few of the ways your body is challenged.*

One example comes from your immune system during busy times. When germs are everywhere one of your best defenses is a nutritious diet. Bacteria and viruses thrive in bodies unprepared for battle. They pick on cells and systems that don’t have the support to fight back.*

That’s why it’s important to lay a strong foundation of essential nutrition. Your body can make better use of dietary resources when there’s plenty available—instead of scrounging for vitamin, mineral, or macronutrient morsels.

Another area supported by foundational nutrition is your body’s response to stress. Work (whether in or outside the home) really takes a toll on your body. A nutritious diet can help alleviate some of that stress. A body flush with vitamins and essential nutrients can dedicate more energy to help balance stress levels.*

Focusing on broad-spectrum nutrition may even help provide more restful sleep. Healthy eating supports healthy sleeping, especially when your diet is full of the B vitamins that regulate melatonin, the sleep hormone. And a good night’s sleep is one of the most effective ways to combat stress and support your immunity.*

You can be prepared to handle the curveballs life throws at you by maintaining that foundation of good nutrition. Combat germs with a great diet. Sleep better and stress less by acquiring broad-spectrum nutrition. A carefully laid base of essential nutrition makes all of this possible.*

Broad-Spectrum Nutrition Helps Create Opportunities for Your Body

Foundational nutrition has benefits beyond fulfilling your body’s basic needs. That’s because the roles of vitamins and minerals are magnified in the body as you build your nutritional foundation. Everything from nutrient storage to additional benefits at advanced levels are possible when you have a strong nutrient foundation.

When you cultivate broad-spectrum nutrition, you store up certain essential nutrients for later use. Vitamin B12 is an example of an essential nutrient that can be stockpiled for future use—if your body has all it needs. Your liver can save extra B12 from your diet for up to four years.

Red blood cells need B12 to work properly and transport oxygen throughout your body. In times when your diet doesn’t supply ideal levels of vitamin B12, the liver springs into action. It taps into the stock to help restore normal levels and maintain red-blood-cell health.*

Antioxidants keep working in your body long after your diet has met your daily requirements. Two examples: Lutein and lycopene. These two powerful antioxidants work tirelessly to help support the health of your eyes.*

When reserves of vitamin A, another natural antioxidant, are built up, it takes on other important tasks. This includes fighting harmful free radicals and helping clean up oxidative damage. Vitamins C and E work in much the same way. Extra vitamins C and E help support your cardiovascular system and immunity.*

Your bones also thrive when your diet includes broad-spectrum nutrition. Vitamin D’s primary role is helping your bones absorb calcium. Once your daily threshold levels of vitamin D are met by your diet, it can work on other important jobs. Vitamin D works on supporting healthy brain function and helping to protect your heart and immune system.*

A strong nutrient foundation helps your body to thrive—not just survive. Powered by the extras in your diet, essential vitamins and minerals help your health and maintain your wellbeing.*

Be Consistent For Lifelong Health

Like any structure, a nutritional foundation requires consistent upkeep. That’s where supplements can take center stage. A broad-spectrum multivitamin and multi-mineral—and other quality nutritional supplements—can help fill dietary gaps to assist in maintaining the constant level of nutrition necessary for healthy living.*

Supplements can be taken daily as a source of essential vitamins, minerals, and other important—but not essential—micronutrients. To maximize their benefit, be consistent with your supplementation. Take your supplements every day, as directed—which may mean with meals for ideal absorption.

Consistency with your healthy diet and supplements means your body can rely on them as solid sources of great nutrition. Creating this base of nutritious foods puts your body on the path to wellness every day. And you’ll be on your way to setting a stable footing for living your best life.

ECLS Energy

3 SUPERCHARGED REV3 ENERGY® MOCKTAILS FOR ANY SEASON

Rethink and Reenergize Your Happy Hour

Energy drinks have become part of our day-to-day life. As eyelids begin to droop in the mid-afternoon, the glorifying effects of caffeine can help pull us through the midday slump. Crack a crisp can, and off you go.

But have you ever studied the ingredients of these energy revivers? They can pack a punch of caffeine and other stimulants, but you’ll often feel the crash that comes from unnatural sources.

USANA’s Rev3 has a different approach—cleaner ingredients for more organic energy. Rev3 utilizes a proprietary Energy Complex with L-carnitine, tea, ginseng, Rhodiola, cacao, ribose, citrate, malate, and coenzyme Q10. It supplies your body with ingredients to support energy metabolism at the cellular level. Clean ingredients help to enhance mental alertness and stamina with caffeine from natural sources, making Rev3 an optimal choice for your afternoon boost.

Rev Up Your Afternoon Habit

The energy of warm weather and fresh ingredients entices throwing summer parties and becoming more creative in the kitchen. It’s the perfect time to get creative with your afternoon Rev3 pick-me-up. Enchant your day—and your taste buds—with classic mixers infused with a light and refreshing pomegranate flavour for a revitalizing oomph that’s far beyond ordinary.

Mocktails to Fuel Your Every Day

Mix up a single mocktail anytime as a fancy way to boost your afternoon, or multiply each recipe to share at your next event, happy hour, or hosted brunch with friends.

easy mocktail recipes Hibiscus Reviver
Hibiscus ReviverDried exotic hibiscus flower can be found at most grocery stores. It infuses your mixtures with an interesting touch that’s both floral and tart. Here it mixes with Rev3 to liven up a classic drink, taking your party—or afternoon—to the next level of luxury.Ingredients·      2.5 oz. Rev3·      .5 oz. hibiscus simple syrup (see below)·      .75 oz. grapefruit juice squeezed fresh·      .75 oz. lemon juice squeezed fresh Build this exotic concoction in a rocks glass. Add ice, and get creative with embellishments—a fresh flower, mint sprig for colour, whatever your heart desires. Hibiscus Simple Syrup·      1 bag dried hibiscus flower (about 2 cups)·      2 cups coconut sugar·      2 cups water bring the mixture to a boil until the coconut sugar dissolves completely. Add dried flowers to steep and let mixture cool completely. Once cool, remove flowers to extend the life of this enchanting mixer.
easy mocktail recipes Sunrise/Rev and Rise
Rev Sunrise/Rev and RiseGinger, citrus, and the subtle addition of lychee bring depth, brightness, and sophistication to this perfect brunch beverage. Shake off the groggy feeling left behind from your morning to-do list and amp up your eggs with the power of Rev3.IngredientsDime-sized piece of peeled ginger.5 tsp. coconut sugar5 oz. Rev3.5 oz. lychee syrup1/2 lemon squeezed fresh.75 oz. orange juice, squeezed freshMuddle fresh ginger with coconut sugar until pieces are broken up. Stir ice and remaining ingredients in a large mixing glass with a tall bar spoon. Strain into a large rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a cherry, orange wheel, or anything that brightens your day.
easy mocktail recipes Rev Refresher
Rev RefresherThere’s nothing like a cooling beverage to infuse your remaining work hours with bright new ideas or to rejuvenate conversation. Mix up a Rev Refresher to enliven an afternoon work session or gathering.IngredientsLarge pinch fresh mint.5 oz. simple syrup1/2 lime squeezed fresh1 oz. pineapple juice2 oz. Rev3Tear and bruise a healthy pinch of fresh mint leaves (careful not to muddle, the leaves will turn brown). Stir remaining ingredients in a large mixing glass with a tall bar spoon. Add leaves to Collins glass and pour additional ingredients into glass. Fill to the top with ice and serve with a tall straw. Garnish with leftover mint leaves or a pineapple wedge.
easy mocktail recipes Hibiscus Reviver
Healthy Cove

POLLEN PREPAREDNESS: DEALING WITH SEASONAL ALLERGIES

Your body has a large, complex, and well-trained security force protecting you from the constant barrage of foreign invaders trying to get in. You call it your immune system. And it’s a network of cells, tissues, and organs working together to provide full-time, full-body protection. Without your knowledge, your immune system identifies and attacks a wide variety of day-to-day threats. All while distinguishing these pathogens from your healthy tissues. But this amazing system is sometimes tripped by less evil objects, like pollen. And that’s where your seasonal allergies start.

The symptoms of allergies—running nose, watery eyes, and sneezing—make sense when you consider the role your nose, mouth, and eyes play. They’re easy entry points for invaders, so your tears and mucus are equipped with an enzyme called lysozyme. It’s capable of breaking down the cell walls of numerous bacteria. Your saliva is armed with antibacterial compounds. And your nasal passages and lungs are coated in a protective shield of mucus and lined with mast cells—a type of white blood cell.

Any bacteria or virus that wants to gain entry through these passageways must first successfully navigate through these important defenses. Harmless substances—those that do not pose a threat to your health—also get caught up in these defenses. They are mistakenly targeted for destruction by your immune system. And that’s only the most basic answer for what causes allergies.

But there’s so much more worth exploring, especially if you’re familiar with the runny, watery, sneezy world of allergies. Let’s dive deeper.

Seasonal Allergies: What They Are and How They Happen

An allergen is typically a harmless substance that can trigger an immune system response that results in an allergic reaction. This is considered a type of immune system error.

A seasonal allergy (also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever) is your immune system overreacting to harmless substances in the environment during certain times of the year. Hay fever originally received its name because of the symptoms that people experienced during the summer months when hay was harvested.

Pollen is the most common allergen in sufferers’ seasonal allergies. This fine, powdery substance is produced by trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers mainly during the spring, summer, and fall. Pollination is the transferring of pollen grains from a male part of a plant to a female part so that reproduction can occur. This works when pollen is released into the air, picked up by wind, or carried by insects, bats, and birds to fertilize other plants of the same species.

Pollination is a very important step in the life cycle of many plants. But pollination can be miserable if you experience seasonal allergies.

These tiny, harmless pollen grains float around in the air and can find their way into your nasal passages. This can trigger an immune response inside your nose. That could lead to sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, teary eyes, and an itchy nose, or throat. While these symptoms may sound and feel like a cold, they are not caused by a virus. It’s just your immune system overreacting to that “harmless” plant pollen.

While it can be confusing to determine if you have seasonal allergies or a cold, there are some unique differences:

  • Seasonal allergies do not cause a fever.
  • Any mucus secretions you may experience are typically thin, runny, and clear.
  • Your nose, throat, and ears may feel itching and you may have rapid bouts of sneezing.
  • Seasonal allergy symptoms usually last longer than seven to 10 days as they are tied to pollen production and counts.

How Do Seasonal Allergies Develop?

You weren’t born with seasonal allergies. But you can develop them over your lifetime.

It all begins with exposure to an allergen (molecules with the potential to cause allergy). You’ve been around them all your life without difficulty. But suddenly your body decides a certain allergen is an invader that must be destroyed.

When this happens, your immune system studies the allergen and makes highly specialized proteins called IgE antibodies to act against it. That’s just in case another exposure occurs. Once your body is sensitized, your immune system maintains a lasting memory of that allergen. This process is called priming.

At your next exposure, your previously made antibodies recognize the allergen and turn on special immune cells to fight and destroy it. These IgE antibodies are specific to a particular antigen. For example, if it is ragweed pollen, the IgE antibodies produced by your immune system only attack the pollen from ragweed.

The chance of developing an allergy starts in your genes. While you can’t inherit specific allergies from your parents, the tendency toward developing allergies is passed down. Children with one allergic parent can have up to a 50-percent chance of developing allergies. And with two allergic parents, it can be an 80-percent chance. Anyone can experience allergies, but children tend to be affected more often than adults.

Allergies can take years to develop. And having one allergy can make you more likely to get others. There’s also a threshold for people who have allergies. So, you can handle a small exposure, but too much launches your body into an allergic response. That activates mast cells in nasal tissues and triggers the release of the histamine from basophils and eosinophils (types of white blood cells).

Histamine is an organic compound that causes the symptoms most often associated with allergies. They’re responsible for the itchy nose, throat, or skin; watery eyes; sneezing; cough; and a runny or stuffy nose.

Seasonal allergy sufferers are familiar with antihistamines. These medications are often used to block the effects of histamines. And it’s the most popular way to deal with the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

The Dreaded Season of Allergies

Allergy season is determined by where you live, and what you’re allergic to. Those with pollen allergies likely dread spring, summer, or fall seasons when pollen counts are at their highest levels.

But what pollen producers are most closely tied to what season? Here’s a quick, simple guide:

  • SPRING: Trees (like oak and birch) are the significant source of pollen during spring months. In some areas, they can begin producing pollen as early as January.
  • SUMMER: During the summer months, grasses (like ryegrass and timothy-grass) are a top source of allergy-causing pollen.
  • FALL: Weeds are the top allergy offenders during the fall. This is especially true for ragweed, which grows in almost every environment.

Having one allergy makes you more likely to get others. So, if one year your ragweed symptoms seem more severe than usual, you may also be reacting to another allergen that’s sharing the air.

How Seasonal Allergies Can Cross Over to Food Allergies

Allergies can interact in other unexpected ways. For example, up to a third of people with certain pollen allergies also develop allergies to foods that contain similar proteins. This is called pollen-food syndrome, or oral allergy syndrome.

It’s caused by cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen and raw fruits, vegetables, or even certain tree nuts. It means that you could experience an itchy mouth; a scratchy throat; or lip, mouth, throat, and tongue swelling.

The symptoms of pollen-food syndrome are usually confined to the mouth and throat. That’s because these proteins are sensitive to gastric enzymes, so they are rapidly degraded upon ingestion. That limits the extent of the reaction. In addition, these proteins are sensitive to heat, so cooking the offending food doesn’t cause the same reaction. In most cases, the symptoms subside once the offending food is swallowed or removed from the mouth.

Although not everyone with pollen allergies experiences pollen-food syndrome, the following are the commonly associated pollen allergens and foods:

  • Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, and plum
  • Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, and tomato
  • Ragweed pollen: banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, and zucchini

All About Allergy Testing

You may have a guess about what causes your allergic reactions. But testing is the only way to know for sure.

Allergy testing can be done as a skin prick or through blood testing. Both methods are used to help determine what substances you may be allergic to. These tests are provided by medical doctors specializing in the immune system and the treatment of allergies. And they are given in addition to a thorough physical exam and health history.

Skin allergy testing is the most common. It’s considered a reliable method to test for certain types of allergens. For this procedure, a tiny amount of select allergens are put into your skin by making a small indentation “prick or scratch” on the surface of your skin.

The skin allergy test determines specific allergies based on how your skin reacts. And the results show up pretty fast. Reactions on the skin occur within about 15 minutes.

If you have allergies, a little swelling and redness will occur where the allergen(s) were placed in your skin. For example, if you are allergic to birch pollen, but not ryegrass pollen, only the birch pollen will cause redness, swelling, and possible itching. The spot where the ryegrass pollen was applied will remain unaffected.

If you’re tired of the seasonal allergen battle, these tests can help determine which allergens trigger your symptoms. And testing can help determine what steps you need to take to avoid your specific triggers. It also helps identify prevention measures or treatments likely to work best for you.

Train Your Immune System

Depending on the type of allergy you have, it’s possible to train your immune system to become less responsive to certain allergens over time—with the help of an allergist or immunologist. Desensitization or immunotherapy is a preventive treatment for allergic reactions to certain substances, including pollens.

Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the immune-offending allergen either under the tongue or as an injection into the skin. The incremental increase in dosing changes the way your immune system reacts to the allergen over time. This can help reduce the symptoms of an allergy when the allergen is encountered by your immune system in the future.

Before starting treatment, it is important for your allergist to help you identify which pollens or other substances trigger allergy symptoms. Skin and sometimes blood tests are performed to confirm the antibodies to specific allergens before therapy can begin.

For those tired of seasonal sneezing fits and constant doses of antihistamines, immunotherapy is a long-term way to address the way your immune system responds to allergens.

Tips for Seasonal Allergy Avoidance

If your nose is driving you crazy, what can you do? Pollen can be difficult to dodge. But avoidance remains one of the best ways to control exposure to allergens during allergy season.

To minimize your exposure to pollen:

  • Stay informed of your local pollen counts by checking the internet or other community sources
  • Remain indoors when pollen counts are high
  • Avoid exercising outdoors early in the morning
  • Keep car windows rolled up while driving
  • Avoid gardening or yard work when pollen counts are high
  • Wear a pollen mask when outdoors
  • Consider investing in a home air purifier
  • Stay indoors on windy days and during thunderstorms
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Wear sunglasses while outside to keep pollen out of your eyes
  • Vacuum often to keep allergens out of your home

Beat the Allergy Season Blues

One of the best ways to combat the impact of seasonal allergies is through knowledge, preparation, and action. Knowing what pollens you’re allergic to, controlling exposure, and treating the symptoms before they become overwhelming can help you navigate the perils of pollen season.

East Coast Life Solutions carries a full line of doTerra essential oils and USANA Health Sciences supplements to help you build your immunity and relieve allergy symptoms. (links are on our home page)

We are always looking for people to join our healthy lifestyle team, which is very rewarding to pass along great values and education to others. Please use the contact page to get in touch.

Healthy Cove

HEALTHY GRAZING BOARDS: A QUEST FOR FLAVOR AND FRIENDSHIP

Almost every great adventure begins with a reluctant hero fighting against seemingly unconquerable odds. But it ends with a victorious feast, new friends made, and lessons learned. It may seem like a stretch, but this is no different from my first experience making a charcuterie board.

Also known as a gazing board, this party platter urges you to find the best food you can and share it with those you care about (or want to impress). And you can make it as healthy as you want. From the herbal, nutty aroma of exotic cheeses to the sweet, sour flavor of pickled olives surrounded by wild berries and fresh veggies—be your own hero as you embark on the unforgettable adventure of making and presenting your first grazing board.

Searching for Flavor

Your first obstacle is to find all the ingredients you need. Because you’ll need a lot of them. As you make the quest to look for unique foods, seasonal fruits, and the freshest veggies you can find, you’ll discover you must search out boutique grocers in every corner of the land.

Go all out with your ingredients. And remember, quality and abundance are key. It also helps to know early on there really isn’t a wrong way to make a grazing board.

  • Cheese and meat: Traditional charcuterie focuses more on cheeses and cured meats. For healthy options, try fresh cheeses, like Mozzarella or Ricotta, instead of aged ones. And go with lean protein options like eggs or shaved turkey. For more healthy ideas, click here.
  • Fruit and veggies: pickled olives, grapes, and berries go well with traditional cheeses and meats, but don’t be afraid to pile your board with all kinds of healthy, tasty options. You can easily ditch the meat and cheese and make veggies the centerpiece if you want. This is your chance to go to the local farmers market and discover something new.
  • Everything else: Don’t forget all the delicious extras you can add. Pistachios, almonds, and other nuts are great for adding flavor and texture. You can also include sweet or savory jams and jellies, mustards, or other pickled items or garnishes. Herb sprigs and flowers can bring even more color and aroma to your board.

You’ll quickly learn that searching for the perfect parts of your grazing board is a real-life adventure. It will get you out into the community discovering new flavors and cultures, supporting local businesses, and encouraging you to meet new people and places.

If you want to make a vegan grazing board, check out this article

Crafting an Experience

Now that you have all your fancy, fresh, and unique ingredients, you can actually build your board and craft an experience of gastronomical grandeur. This is the second trial you—as the hero of your story—must overcome. But, as with the first, you’ll quickly realize it’s just another part of your awesome, new adventure.

  1. Find your foundation. You can use a glass or ceramic platter or go with a wooden board. Just make sure it’s the right size for what you want to do.
  2. Start by placing the two or three largest items like cheese wedges, bowls of jelly or olives, or large vegetables.
  3. Begin filling in the spaces working from bigger items to smaller ones. Keep everything bite-sized, and try to keep similar items together.
  4. Add some style and asymmetry by placing items in threes. You can go with an elaborate design you find online or just make your board a chaotic cornucopia.
  5. Add the finishing touches with herb sprigs, flowers, berries, nuts, and seeds.

This is your chance to showcase all the delicious goodies you’ve found on your journey. Find foods with striking colors and try to complement them. Make it your way and add your style. There really aren’t any rules as to what can or can’t be on a grazing board. If you love gardening, it could be filled with all of your home-grown vegetables. Or if you want to focus more on protein options, you could go more traditional and cover it with cheese and antipasti.

The experience you craft is in your hands. For design ideas click here.

Celebrating Your Journey

Now that your board is complete, you need some friends and loved ones to share it with. So invite them over for a relaxing evening and good food. Place your board in an easily accessible location, typically close to the drinks.

Then stick around and share your healthy grazing board with pride. You traveled far and wide, discovered new places and flavors, and now you get to have some fun and tell your stories. Where and how you got the ingredients really can become the main talking point around your board. So get ready to be the expert on the heirloom tomatoes or locally sourced fresh cheese you included.

Nothing is quite as photogenic as a well-made grazing board. So make sure to snap plenty of nice photos and share them, along with your stories, on social media as well. It’s a great way to showcase healthy habits in an artistic way that’s all you.

You’ve broken out of your comfort zone. You’ve fostered a community of people you care for. You’ve had a healthy adventure and created something to be forever proud of. But it’s not the end of your story, because you can always do it again. Maybe next time you’ll add some mango pieces or a bowl of fresh salsa.

Here at East Coast Life Solutions, we know that it’s easy to get off track. Healthy food tips and ideas make it easy to keep going in the right direction. When there is good healthy food at your fingertips you are less likely to be tempted to indulge in less healthy temptations.

And we know many of you are already healthy grazing board experts. Please share your tips and tricks below to help us new adventurers on our journey.

H

Healthy Cove

MINDFUL LIVING IS HEALTHY LIVING

Describing mindfulness can be hard. So, let’s do a little thought experiment and try some mindful living for a minute.

Imagine you’re walking through a city, enjoying the fresh air, and delighting in the bustle and energy of the streets. You take a seat on a bench near a busy intersection, safely tucked away from traffic. You’re happy to rest for a moment and take in the sights and sounds. What goes through your mind as you witness the traffic?

You might notice the make, model, and color of each car that passes. Perhaps you take note of how fast a particular car whooshes by. Maybe you see another car run a red light. You allow yourself to observe these visual cues and understand them as information, without the need to interpret them as good, bad, wrong, or right.

This basic analogy is what many practitioners use to describe mindfulness. Let’s unpack it to dig deeper into this important, but elusive concept.

What is Mindfulness?

If you imagine the busy street as your brain, then the different cars represent your thoughts. They could be about your worries, fears, or stressors. They might represent your hopes, wishes, and desires. People in your life may populate your thoughts. All those thoughts are cars traveling on the street of your brain.

Mindfulness is immersing yourself in that moment-to-moment awareness, free of judgment. It allows for these thoughts to enter your mind, move through, and disappear without wreaking havoc. That means as you think of a worry, hope, or person, you do so without judging yourself for thinking about it.

An example of mindful living might help clarify things. You feel worried about missing an impending deadline. Mindfulness would suggest that you acknowledge the deadline and your body’s reaction to it with a bit of emotional distance.

Most people don’t practice this detachment. That allows negative thoughts to loop. If the loop continues uninterrupted, the result can be anxiety, stress, worry, and preoccupation. But, if you aim to witness your thoughts in the same way you would a harmless car driving safely by you, you’re likely to avoid those negative pitfalls. Additionally, allowing a bit of space from emotions provides clarity of mind and mental focus.

Mindfulness is about staying in the present. So, returning to the car metaphor, mindfulness is not craning your neck to see if the car that passed will turn off the road up ahead. It is also not turning to see how far traffic has backed up. When you’re simply observing each car as it enters and exits your field of view, you’re practicing mindfulness.

The Benefits of Mindfulness

As the modern world continues to blaze by, many are turning to mindfulness to slow life down. The recent growth in the popularity of mindfulness has created a call for research to investigate the benefits of more mindful living.

Practitioners have long claimed many benefits for mindfulness. Among them are stress reduction, less emotional reactivity, freedom from rumination, mental focus, and relationship satisfaction.

Researchers have started to test these hypotheses. They do it by assigning study participants to a mindfulness-based intervention or a control group. Then researchers take various measurements to determine the effects of each intervention.

In one investigation, researchers looked at nearly 40 studies that include mindfulness-based interventions. They found mindfulness programs helped reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in patients with psychiatric disorders. In certain studies, they also concluded that mindfulness practice, paired with traditional therapy, is effective in preventing relapse into depression for certain patients.

Another study has shown promising results for regular practice of mindfulness through meditation. In this particular case, participants learned how to meditate over a two-month period. Researchers took images of participants’ brains before and after the program and found changes in the amygdala, an area of the brain responsible for emotional processing. The scan showed that the amygdala was less active after meditation. Then participants were shown emotionally charged images and the same brain scan was repeated. Comparing pre-meditation scans to those taken after viewing emotional images revealed something interesting.

Researchers saw that the decrease in activity of the amygdala held, even when the participants weren’t actively meditating. This finding is promising, as it shows that the benefits—in this case, less emotional reactivity—are long-lasting, even when meditation or mindfulness is not being actively employed.

Another group of researchers studied attendees of an intensive mindfulness retreat. After the 10-day retreat, the participants, experienced less rumination—when compared to a control group who didn’t attend the retreat. The retreat group also exhibited better attention and focus when assigned to a performance task.

It’s not uncommon to hear about a new trend from a friend and be skeptical. Even if your friend shares a personal, compelling anecdote, it may feel too good to be true. But when the trend in question is mindfulness or mindful meditation, the jury’s no longer out. Science shows that health benefits of mindfulness do exist. So, hesitate no longer and hop on the bandwagon.

Tips for Mindful Living Every Day

  • Slow down. It’s easy to move through life on autopilot, going through the motions without consciously connecting with each action, decision, or person you encounter. One trick is to think about the transitions throughout your day and how you can move through them more slowly and intentionally. This could be the moment after you wake up and before you get out of bed. Maybe it’s the moment after you finish one work task and start the next. When these transitions are rushed, it divorces your mind from your body, turning autopilot back on. In these transitional moments, pause to breathe and check in with your mind and body. This will give you a chance to collect your thoughts and ready yourself for whatever comes next.
  • Use all of your senses. Mindfulness doesn’t just have to be turned on when life gets stressful. Tuning into your body and all of its sensations can help you stay engaged in mindfulness. Listening, seeing, tasting, touching, and hearing fully can help you stay grounded in each moment. With this mindset, an ordinary task can turn into a sensory experience. For example, take gardening. What does the soil feel like? Does this new sprout have a smell? Consider the vibrancy of the colors throughout the plant. If it bears fruit, what does it taste like? What sounds do you hear as you’re outside tending to the garden? When you stay in the moment and ask yourself these questions, it’s nearly impossible to ruminate on the past or worry about the future.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Start by jotting down three things you were grateful for each day. This practice will encourage you to slow down and reflect on your day. Consider why you’re grateful for each list item, how they make you feel, and how they add to your life. Journaling can help you curate a more positive outlook and perspective. If this resonates with you, create longer lists or expand each entry.
  • Focus on brain health. Mindfulness is all in your head—focusing your brain on the present and striving for non-judgment. So, it’s also a time to think about supporting your brain. That means eating foods rich in B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, antioxidants, and vitamin E. And your brain also has to be exercised to keep it in tip-top shape. Practice being mindful about using your brain each day. You can do that by playing a musical instrument, taking classes (anything from cooking to math), learning a new language, memory games, playing a new sport, and more.
  • Practice self-compassion. Non-judgment is the key to mindfulness. But requiring your mind to be present and non-judgmental can feel like a tall order. You may not do it successfully every time. And that’s OK. Be forgiving and kind to yourself. It’s the best way to ensure you’ll come back to the present and continue forward.

Another Taste: Eating Mindfully

In the modern world of busy schedules, traffic, and technology, it’s hard to find time to focus on eating well. When time is short, meals are often the first thing to take a hit. It means a meal might start in a drive-through lane and finish while you’re driving. Or perhaps it’s a plate of leftovers quickly reheated in the microwave and eaten standing up.

Not giving yourself moments to slow down and eat in peace will only add to the rushed pace of the day. And unsurprisingly, the result might leave you feeling stressed, anxious, and with an upset stomach.

When you take the alternative approach and choose to eat with dedicated intention, you unlock more opportunities to practice mindfulness. It doesn’t matter whether you make a meal from scratch or you pick up one that’s prepared. Eating mindfully calls on all of your senses, bringing you into the present.

What does it smell like? Does the aroma transport you to another place or memory? If you’re eating with your fingers, what does it feel like? Is it soft, crumbly, or flaky? What does it feel like once you put a morsel in your mouth? Does it melt, dissolve, or bubble? What does the food taste like? Does it make your mouth pucker or hit your sweet tooth?

Engaging all of your senses requires that you take your time and tune into each sensation. This behavior makes for a more enjoyable, relaxed meal. An added benefit is that eating slowly will allow you to sense when you’re full more quickly. This means you’re less likely to overeat unintentionally. That’s a bonus whether you’re trying to lose, gain, or maintain your weight.

Paying attention to the general feel and feedback from your whole body will help you remain in touch with what your body needs and when. When did you last eat? How does your body feel? What cues is it giving you and what are they saying? Remember that your body knows best. It only asks you to listen to its cues.

Make Mindfulness Your Mantra

Mindfulness requires a subtle shift in how you move throughout your day. While the change is seemingly small, the impact can be large. Being mindful allows your body and mind to let go of stress, negative thought patterns, and associated behaviors.

When you toss aside those patterns and distractions, you liberate yourself. You’re likely to find more creativity, productivity, and energy. By committing even a few moments a day to mindfulness, you start a habit that sets you up for a healthier day and overall lifestyle.